Join the Office of the Provost for our second annual Faith and Learning Lecture by Assistant Professor of Communication, Dr. Theon Hill, on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Barrows. Dr. Hill’s lecture, “The Pulpit and Racial Difference” is taken from his Faith and Learning Paper “(Re)Articulating Difference: Constitutive Rhetoric, Christian Identity, and Discourses of Race as Biology.”
Professor Hill studies the African American rhetorical tradition within the context of politics, faith, and popular culture to understand how the black community’s prophetic voices have utilized rhetoric’s power to pursue racial equality.
Consistent with this scholarly emphasis, his Faith and Learning paper analyzes contemporary evangelical approaches to racial disunity. Given the persistence of racist ideologies within the discursive landscape of American Evangelicalism, Hill studies a pastor’s attempt to respond to this history at a popular gathering of Evangelicals. The message, Hill argues, attempts to resituate Christian identity into a more inclusive ideological framework by dislocating historical connections between race and biology. Yet, Hill contends that this rhetorical shift fails to offer a roadmap to racial unity due to the absence of a detailed critique of the power dynamics that sustain racist activity on individual and structural levels in the church and society. In response, he offers alternative strategies for Christians who desire to engage matters of race and ethnicity in a manner that deepens Christian unity.